Is there an element of your game that you've been particularly pleased with over the last week?
...I think I should be pleased with my movement on the court 'cause I had so much trouble last year. And I think finally I'm getting back. I'm confident about, yeah, the way I move on the court I think.
Has the heat been a factor at all for you?
I'm from Florida. Anyone who knows Florida knows this heat is not the same.
How close do you think you came to beating her today?
Well, I lost, so I don't think I was close enough.
Where were you in the first set?
I was out there somewhere, but I'm not quite sure.
I think, on this service you can't pretend; you have to really be a good player. You have to be athletic. You have to be able to play the tough points. The points are quicker, so you can't just kind of keep balls in play and maybe outlast your opponent. You really have to be able to play.
Kim did a lot of mistakes, that's for sure, in the first set, and I was really into it. Slowly but surely, she started to be more intense in the second, putting me under more pressure. I've never been after that really able to come more into the court, you know, and just be in the control of the release. I was running after the ball. That wasn't that easy.
What do you need to do to your game to take it to the next level of these other players?
That's a good question. I'm not sure right now actually.
Especially those first two steps forward I think on grass are extremely important, especially against Justine, because she has that slice that kind of drops dead a little bit. Also, with the return, she can really chip it. It kind of drops dead in the middle of the court. Those are tough shots to play. But I really felt that on grass now I can really, yeah, just step up. Those first few steps are really important.
How would you rate the way you played today both mentally and physically?
I mean, I was right there. I felt really good. You know, I gave her a run for her money. I'm feeling really good. I'm in a much better spot than I was last year. I'm playing a lot better, feeling really great physically.
I think she gives everyone a run for her money. She's such a tough player. She never gives up. Right when you think you have her, she comes back. She's a player you cannot count out.
Serena Williams, referring to Li Na
Did you expect to be so good at this tournament? Did you improve your practice specially for this tournament?
I did just practicing my serve. But, yeah, I practiced a lot. Now it's good.
I don't think it's easy to go out and perform every day. I think you have to have some sort of either real mental toughness or have some tic loose in your brain.
Also in our country we're having a major disaster. Can you in any way relate the two disasters?
You know, it's funny, most importantly it's the fear that's in people's minds and the fear that no one really understands what's going on, and that leads to a poor quality of life for them and for the regions around them. You know, my goal is really to restore that and to send the message that we're all very aware of the situation, what has happened many years ago, and that people on a daily basis are still affected by it, are getting sick, and are living in those regions.
Maria Sharapova, discussing the Chernobyl disaster
After I win in Birmingham, I was feeling more confident, more positive thinking on the grass court. But because my coach didn't come to Birmingham, so after I meet him, he was like, "Just forget Birmingham. This much different tournament." So every time, he always talk like--every time he talk like, "Forget, forget, forget that one." I was like, "Okay." I couldn't forget. I played five rounds of match, win tournament. How I can forget that?